TWCC Increases Availability of Comp System Information

September 2, 2004

In response to requests from workers’ compensation system participants, the Texas Workers’ Compensation Commission is making more information about the system available on the agency’s Web site at:

General system data such as the top paid health care providers and the attorneys with the most fees approved by the Commission to represent claimants and insurance carriers is being posted to a new Public Information page on the redesigned Commission Web site which was launched in August 2004.

“The new page on the Web site is part of an overall effort to be more responsive to requests for public information,” said Robert L. “Bob” Shipe, acting executive director of the Commission. “We want to make access easier for documents that we are not legally required to hold for written open records requests.

“This change at the Commission makes sense because it reduces our administrative costs associated with handling open records requests and it gives the requestors speedy and convenient access to the information they want,” he said.

Formal, written requests are still required for the release of some information from the Commission and all claim file information for injured workers remains strictly confidential. The new effort to increase accessibility concerns general information that is not specifically protected under the Public Information Act.

The new page on the Web site includes links to the following information:

· Top 100 Claimant and Carrier Attorneys for 2003 and 2002. Ranked by amount of fees approved, also includes the name and State Bar identification number of the attorney, and the number of claimants represented.
· Top 100 Health Care Providers for 2003 and 2002. Includes the provider types MD, DO, DC, DP, DS & OD, ranked by amount paid.
· Certified Self-Insurers’ Third-Party Administrator/Austin Representative List
· Private Providers of Vocational Rehabilitation Registry
· Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF)

System Data Reports also are available on the Web site and are linked to the Public Information and the News and Publications pages. System Data Reports contain statistics about the workers’ compensation system such as numbers of worker injuries reported to the Commission, average medical costs of claims and claims with benefit disputes. The reports are updated semi-annually.

Instructions for making a written request under the Public Information Act to the Commission also are posted on the Public Information page.

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